So a combination of busy (lots of baby stuff, running a LAN on the 12th, and attending a LAN on the 19th and one at the end of April) and lazy (mostly tired from all the busy) have made it difficult to make progress on finishing off this build but I finally got around to some of it
Regarding Mwave and the Gelid fan, I misspoke when I said they hadn't gotten back to me. I mistook a response email from them on the RMA for a simple notification of my RMA submission. They were responsive, courteous, and professional and my replacement fan is on it's way to me right now, so I'm very happy with my interaction with Mwave. Buy things from them.
I bought and installed 3 black rounded SATA cables and like the result. Here are the specific parts I chose: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123348
I will post a couple pictures of them soon.
I also purchased and installed the Corsair H80 with the same 120mm Cougar fans and ran into a problem. The pump seems to be making a nasty noise constantly. It sounds awful and is the only thing in there keeping the system from being silent again at idle/average load. At the last 2 LANs I poked my nose into a pair of cases with H100s (they have the same pump/block assembly) and found no such noise even with the pump at full speed. So I sent Corsair the following tech support question regarding the noise:
I purchased a H80 to replace my H50 while making a new SFF LAN gaming build (http://www.overclock.net/t/1229893/build-log-ft03b-sandy-kepler-lan-gaming-pc
). After installing the H80 though, I found that no matter which of the 3 settings the pump speed was set to (with the manual switch on the block/pump assembly) it makes a constant noise that I haven't heard from installing H100s and H80s (or even my old first gen H50) in other people's systems. It is hard to describe, but it sounds like a gritty grinding noise and it wouldn't be an issue if I hadn't built this system with noise level in mind. Right now the grinding noise is the only thing I can hear from the computer past a foot away from it and it is an annoying noise in the extreme. When I had the H50 in this same build it was completely silent, so I'm guessing there is an issue with the H80 based on that and my experience with other H80s and H100s (I checked 2 friends Hydro coolers of the same generation and confirmed that their units do not make this same noise even at full speed). Thank you very much for your time and assistance with this issue.
Paul "tallpaul02" Dodd
I then found a related sticky post from Corsair's forums: http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=107252
Vindication! I'm not just crazy (maybe)! I'm assuming they will offer to replace it either themselves or through Newegg, where I bought it. I've never known Corsair to be anything short of excellent with their product quality and customer service so I don't see any reason why this would go any differently.
I also decided to put my 2nd 1TB Spinpoint F3 HDD in the hot swap bay because I don't feel like taking it along in an external HDD enclosure (extra bulk, cables, setup, teardown, additional power plug, etc) so that will be different looking once I post a picture of the progress too.
All in all, the build is very close to done and as soon as the faulty parts are rectified the last 120mm can go in and I can put the sound dampening foam in and declare it finally complete.Edited by tallpaul02 - 5/23/12 at 2:16pm